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3 Ways to Spend Your Thanksgiving: Downtown DSM Edition

Thanksgiving Things to Do

November 22, 2022

This Thanksgiving, whether you’re away from home for the holiday or just looking for things to do to beat cabin fever — we’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at a few ways to spend your Thanksgiving Day in Downtown Des Moines (DSM).   

1. Thanksgiving Day Events in Downtown Des Moines


Yep, there are events taking place on Turkey Day! Take a look at these Downtown DSM events coming up on Thursday, Nov. 24: 

Des Moines Turkey Trot — Have your pick between the 5k, five mile and tot trot or join the fun as a spectator. This Downtown DSM Thanksgiving Day staple event includes a pie and eggnog contest plus delicious food to eat after the race.   

Disney On Ice: Frozen and Encanto — Both children and young-at-heart will have a blast singing and dancing along with Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, Sven and the entire Madrigal family from the hit Disney movies Frozen and Encanto! 

2. Enjoy the Outdoors Around Downtown DSM 

Go for a stroll around the Principal Riverwalk in Downtown DSM. Bundle up for a bike ride around Gray’s Lake and Water Works Park. Take a hike and then take in the sights at the EMC Overlook at MacRae Park. Snag a selfie with an artful sculpture at the open-air John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, with the Downtown DSM skyline in view!

For a fun outdoor outing, reserve a ticket in advance to enjoy ice skating in the open air from 3:30 – 9:45 p.m. at Brenton Skating Plaza on Thanksgiving Day. The plaza will also hold special skating hours the day after Thanksgiving. Skate from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25.     

3. Give Back to Downtown DSM Nonprofits

At the start of the holiday season, now is a wonderful time to commit to giving time, talent or treasure to your local community. Here are a few Downtown DSM organizations and ways you can share the love:   

Catholic Charities Diocese of Des Moines — Volunteer, provide a monetary donation or give items in need (food collection, baby diapers and wipes, baby formula, furniture/housewares for refugees, etc.).    

Youth Mental Health Services (YSS) — There are several ways to support YSS over the holidays! Provide a holiday meal, create a care package, donate supplies/essential items, purchase a Giving Tree gift item or Adopt-a-Family.

Central Iowa Shelter & Services — Give the gift of a financial contribution toward this nonprofit’s mission. Donate in-kind items such as warm winter gear, canned foods or hygiene products — even leftover meals can be donated here. Additionally, volunteer opportunities are available including serving meals.   

Additional ways to volunteer, donate and give back to nonprofits and organizations in need around the region are listed here.   

Make it one epic winter in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) by exploring, experiencing and enjoying what Downtown DSM has to offer. Plan your visit to Downtown DSM with these tips for parking and navigation

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.